Waldheims Walzer
The Waldheim Waltz



In 1986, Kurt Waldheim was elected President of Austria. But during his candidacy, a historical-political debate flared up due to his past as a Nazi, which is retraced in The Waldheim Waltz. The editing of the film, which combines Beckermann’s own footage with television archive footage, is at times ironic. Following the summary of a US news presenter, who says that Waldheim’s missed majority in the first ballot gives the Austrians five more weeks to think about the allegations against the candidate, she switches to a beer tent. Here, the patriarchally, diabolically smiling candidate is conducting a brass band. The crude oompah-pah contains all the repression and silencing of a time that Waldheim left out of his biography, and his face reveals the effort it took to do so. The film culminates in a hearing in the US Congress. Waldheim’s son Gerard is visibly uncomfortable as he cowers behind a table and is given a solid dressing-down by the Democrat Tom Lantos, a Hungarian-born Jew who survived the Holocaust. The way in which Lantos dismisses the hypocritical variations of “didn’t know” with his insistent, slightly authoritarian way of speaking (“This is not like a movie you choose not to see”), could serve as an example for how we should deal with the far right today. (md)



Austria 2018
93 Min. Color. DCP. D/E/F/e

Director: Ruth Beckermann

Script: Ruth Beckermann

Editor: Dieter Pichler


International Competition 2018 "Cutting Edge"
Bildrausch 2018